The Attention Span of Modern Youth as a Result of Technology


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Okay, so earlier today a friend of mine was telling me about all the wonderful things about Minecraft (a pixelated-type game where the user can create new worlds/games/etc.). I felt that I would too be able to appreciate a game that so many others do as well, and so I joined him in a multiplayer game. I was surprised to find out that Minecraft was indeed a piece of crap, or so I believe, as I lacked the attention span to learn anything from my friend and ended up only digging holes in the dirt and following the pixelated pigs and cows around.

This made me think about something most people rarely do because most people suffer from the actual topic of thought: a short attention span. I normally do not have a short attention span and can listen to information being shoved into my brain day in and day out, however, it seems even I am not immune from the ways in which the modern youth is being influenced by technology.

I contest that technology has shortened our attention spans to such an extent that we cannot stick to anything for too long. On a daily basis, from the moment we awake to the moment we sleep we are confronted with cell phones, televisions, i-pads and i-pods. We have come to assume that whatever we want to get, we will get in a short amount of time or even instantly because after all, we have wifi in every corner of the globe and a device connected to the internet for each pocket in our jeans. These kinds of things have created a modern youth that is content only with instantaneous delight and one that lacks the attention span to really stick to something for a long time.

Nowadays, it’s unlikely a song will ever go over 4 minutes. It’s unlikely that any important news story will be recognized as important for longer than a couple of days. It’s unlikely that a youth will know anything more than is taught in schools about any subject, but it is likely that he will know more about the ‘freshest’ brands and crappiest, most repetitive singers than at any time in our history.

These little things may not seem like big deals, but they actually do eventually hinder our attention spans. How can we ever focus on learning to appreciate anything, even a how to play a simple game or how to do something cool, when we have 50 Facebook updates to check on every hour and 50 devices in our homes that we can check them on? Or how are we going to ever have real conversations with other people if we become so easily distracted by things in the digital world?

I can’t say that I don’t fall under this category of people, because I am but a human who follows the same crowd of humans as my generation does, however, it’s important that we are aware of such things.

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1 comment
  1. Nahitsjust Dapimp said:

    do you think us teens, at this age, have some right to a short attention span (being able to concentrate on what we like or are interested in or be able to be flexible in doing what we’d want given the limited nature of “free time”) ? I personally think that, inevitably, we will all be exposed to things that will demand our attentions for longer periods of time (maybe jobs or families) and that until then, we all have some right in enjoying as much of what technology now gives us within our respective time frames.

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